Selective breeding for voluntary alcohol consumption was utilized to establish the alcohol-preferring (P) and alcoholnonpreferring (NP) rat lines. Inbreeding was initiated after 30 generations of selection and, after 19 generations of inbreeding, 384 F2 intercross progeny were created to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influencing alcohol consumption. We had reported previously a QTL on Chromosome (Chr) 4; additional markers genotyped on Chr 4 have increased the maximum lod score from 8.6 to 9.2. This QTL acts in an additive fashion and continues to account for approximately 11% of the phenotypic variability. The 95% confidence interval is 12.5 cM and includes the candidate gene, neuropeptide Y. Subsequent to the identification of the QTL on Chr 4, a genome scan was completed to identify additional QTLs influencing alcohol consumption. A lod score of 2.5 was obtained on Chr 3, syntenic to a region previously reported for alcohol preference in mice. Analysis of Chr 8 produced a lod score of 2.2 near the dopamine D2 and serotonin 1b receptors, which have been previously reported as candidate genes for alcohol preference. Evidence for linkage to alcohol consumption was not found on any other chromosome. It therefore appears likely that, in addition to the QTL on Chr 4, multiple loci of small to moderate effect, such as those on Chrs 3 and 8, underlie the difference in alcohol consumption in the P/NP lines.
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